In the areas declared presidential disaster areas, the affected taxpayers can claim property losses by amending their tax return for the year in which the disaster took place or the previous year, form 1040X. IRS is urging taxpayers to amend their 2000 tax returns to claim property losses on them and that way get their refunds much more quickly instead of waiting around to file their 2001 tax return.
Those taxpayers that are still on extension to file their 2000 tax return, extended 120 days for most taxpayers following the Sept. 11 disaster, can claim the property losses on that return. Taxpayers must subtract all the compensation they have received from insurance companies covering the property losses. Any other reimbursements for agencies government or not should also be subtracted from the total.
According to the IRS, “For personal use property, individuals must first subtract $100 for each casualty event. From the remaining total losses for the year, they subtract ten percent of their adjusted gross income. They may take the remaining amount as an itemized deduction. Taxpayers claiming the loss on an amended or original 2000 return should put “September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack” in red ink at the top of the return to expedite processing. Details on claiming these losses are in IRS Publication 547, “Casualties, Disasters and Thefts (Business and Nonbusiness),” and in the instructions for Form 4684, “Casualties and Thefts.” Publication 584, “Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook (Personal-Use Property),” will help individuals figure the loss amount.
Tax forms and publications are available through the IRS Web site, www.irs.gov,
or by calling (toll-free) 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676).
The IRS also has a special toll-free number to answer tax questions from those
affected by the terrorist attacks: 1-866-562-5227. It is open weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., local time, with assistance in Spanish available from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.”